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Canon 5d mk11 vs. Sony HVR-A1U

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Brian Lindstrom
Canon 5d mk11 vs. Sony HVR-A1U
on Oct 3, 2009 at 4:23:00 am

Hi All:
I love my Sony HVR-A1U. It has served me well for 3+years making long form cinema-verite documentaries. One of the many things I love about the camera is how low-impact it is. I'm often able to hold the camera far enough from my face so that I can still see the LCD window and know that I'm getting the shot I need while maintaining eye contact with my subject. This has enabled me to get intimate scenes I otherwise may never have realized with other cameras.

I have a new corporate client for which I will be making profiles. I feel a need to spice up the visuals and am considering a camera that would allow me to take great stills AND great video. I'm curious about the canon 5d mkii. Any advice you can give me about the merits/trade-offs regarding my possibly switching to the Canon 5d mk11 would be greatly appreciated. Here are my questions:
1. I take very long takes and shoot lots of footage: Can the Canon handles that as well as the Sony has all these years? Would I have to spend a fortune on cards?
2. I am running FCP 6.0.6--would this suffice for the Canon or would I have to upgrade to FCP 7?
3. What codec should I use with the canon?
4. I've used the Century Optics .65x HR Wide Angle Converter 37mm with the Sony and LOVED IT. Could I use this same WA converter on the Canon?
5. The SLR type body seems like it would become very top heavy when you ad a boom mic (and XLR adapter?). Is this an issue? My stuff is ALL handheld, so this could be a big issue.
6. I like the "photo burst" effect (8 fps for example) a lot. Is the Canon a good camera for this?

Thanks!
Best,
Brian Lindstrom


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Bob Dix
Re: Canon 5d mk11 vs. Sony HVR-A1U
on Nov 11, 2009 at 7:09:57 am

Well Brian,
The Sony is undoubtedly a great video unit , but, I checked some footage out of our little Canon HV20 in HDV against the Sony and I could not tell the difference.

However, we have used the Canon EOS 5D mark II in Australia, New Zealand and Norfolk Island.

If you use a IS image Stabilised Lens , maybe a 28-135mm IS F 3.5 or a Canon IS L series F 4 70--200mm mainly because it stabilises panning ( so they tell me)

The quality out of this camera is extrodinary in 19250 x 1080p.

You will need a powerfull computer to handle the H264 mov. files on the timeline as they need to be rendered befor editing. Unlike normal HDV Cmacorders. I wish you all the best hand holding.


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Bob Dix
Re: Canon 5d mk11 vs. Sony HVR-A1U
on Nov 11, 2009 at 7:23:58 am

I should have added the length of video recorded on a 4mb CF card SanDisk Extreme IV UDMA @ 45MB/s as the output of the Canon is about 38MB/s cost about $120 and you would need a few of these on a controlled planned shoot as it will only run for 12 mins of High definition clips..And you can record magnificent stills at the same time.

As the mic is only mono and you may hear some motor noise from the IS lenses you should equip the unit with a Rode Stereo X/Y Mike on the hot shoe. It removes noise and gives outstanding stereo.

We have done seven major projects from travel, fashion shows, art gallery presentations etc. the results are broadcast quality.

But, editing will be slower than the Sony .


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